I’d like to enlist Ben Domenech to help with the war against Iraq. This time I mean it literally. I think he should do what Elvis did and enlist in the Army.
He’s 24 years old, a huge supporter of the war in Iraq, a huge supporter of President Bush, and well, he’s found himself out of work.
Not just out of work, but with a reputation in tatters. He was hired, you may recall, by the Washington Post to write a young-white-republican column, ostensibly to balance Froomkin’s neocon target practice.
That’s what passes for â€œbalanceâ€ in today’s media: giving equal time to anyone, no matter how crazy and baseless their side is. In that regard, they’re more like the conservatives than anything else: it’s the tactic that the religious freakos employed to get any sort of airtime for â€œIntelligentâ€ Design. Never mind that evolution is as close to scientific fact as anything, but the media was terrified of looking biased by ignoring the baseless â€œother sideâ€. So Intelligent Design got more than the ridicule it deserved.
So someone started a bigger initiative, Operation Yellow Elephant quite some time ago, suggesting that all these young republicans who were so in support of the war and of our troops get off their asses, stop buying yellow ribbons and bumperstickers and radio antenna American flags and put their money where there whining snivelling mouths are and enlist.
I could pawn off my ineligibility by saying I’m soon-to-be 42 years old and that I’m an out and proud homosexual, so, y’know, they’d never take me, but honestly? I don’t support the invasion and occupation and I wouldn’t take part in it. My personal ethics wouldn’t allow me to. On that basis, I’d never really call for all those republicans to go and enlist.
However, I have no problem suggesting that Ben could really get credibility back by enlisting and getting over there to fight his good fight here. Let’s face it, he can only preach to his crazy-choir now, so his skills at hating Muslims and being super-duper-patriotic (when really, he’s just a nationalist xenophobe) by literally fighting the â€œwarâ€ on terror.
Do you think he will?
Given that his apology for his past plagiarism (and from, among others, Salon.com, no less!) involved blaming his editors and lying about permission from P.J. O’Rourke, it wasn’t much of an apology after all. And of course his bleating, screeding, echoing rightwingnut blogosphere are all calling him a man of integrity for having come clean about it. Riiiiiiight. They’re also blaming the liberals for attacking him and finding out in 3 days time that he plagiarized.
As the message of the conservatives gets more and more abstract because, let’s face it, those ideologues need to be as far away from concrete, checkable facts as they can be these days. And what better way to avoid fact-facing than to blame the messengers for their motives?
Enlist, Private[ization] Benjamin. We’ll all respect you instantly if you do. You’re 24, you’re strong, you believe!